COMSTOCK PARK, MI -The West Michigan Whitecaps enjoyed strong starting pitching from Kyle Funkhouser and excellent relief work as part of a 2-0 shutout over the Bowling Green Hot Rods Monday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.
The opening game of a three-game series featured two outstanding right-handers. J.D. Busfield took the mound for Bowling Green against Funkhouser, the Louisville graduate, for West Michigan. Funkhouser gave up two first inning Hot Rods singles, but Drew Longley threw out Lucious Fox trying to steal second base before Funkhouser struck out Nathaniel Lowe to end the threat. West Michigan took the early 1-0 lead in the first when Danny Woodrow singled and scored easily on the RBI-double to left-center field by Blaise Salter. The double by Salter represented the ninth double in his last seven games.
Funkhouser faced trouble in the third inning by loading the bases due in part to issuing two walks and a double. However, a groundout ended the Bowling Green rally. The Whitecaps scratched across a huge insurance run in the fifth with Woodrow setting the table once again - this time with a one out single. After a Busfield issued a walk to Cam Gibson, Jake Robson laced a solid RBI-single to left-field which plated Woodrow and provided a slim 2-0 'Caps margin. Whitecaps relievers Eduardo Jimenez and Bryan Garcia shut down Bowling Green with three shutout innings of pitching and West Michigan earned their fifth straight victory and 19th in the last 23 games.
Funkhouser (3-1) tossed eight strikeouts to compliment six innings of scoreless baseball. The loss went to the Hot Rods starter Busfield (3-2), who allowed both 'Caps runs. Garcia earned a Midwest League leading ninth save for West Michigan, who improved to 25-12 on the year. The loss represents Bowling Greens' third consecutive defeat and brought their season record to 16-19. The Whitecaps pitching staff tossed a shutout for the eighth time in just 37 games. The eight shutouts tie the Whitecaps 2016 mark for the entire season.
The Whitecaps continue this three-game series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods Tuesday at 6:35p.m. Whitecaps lefty Eudis Idrogo gets the start against Hot Rods fellow southpaw Brock Burke. Broadcast coverage with Dan Hasty and Mike Coleman begins on the Whitecaps Baseball Network at 6:25p.m. Tickets can be reserved for any Whitecaps 2017 home contest by calling the Whitecaps front office at 616-784-4131 or by visiting www.whitecapsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.